Just a couple of days before the MLB Trade Deadline, a pair of surprising suitors have been linked with a deal for Texas Rangers right-hander, Lance Lynn.
Not long after Lance Lynn was tied to a potential trade suitor in the Chicago White Sox, the Texas Rangers top starter was connected with the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic named the Padres and Blue Jays as a pair of teams that were linked to the Cy Young candidate while also confirming the earlier reported interest from the White Sox.
Both teams are a bit surprising as potential suitors for Lynn with neither being considered a true buyer for the past couple of years. But both teams have built impressive squads and are now looking to fight for their place in the 2020 postseason, especially with the expanded format.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are an interesting suitor partially because they just acquired starter Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for a PTBNL. Walker is not necessarily a starter that would block any spot for an addition of Lynn’s caliber, but whether Toronto would feel the need to add two starters, one with a hefty price tag, in the same season is yet to be seen.
Toronto currently sits 4.5 games back of the Rays for first in the AL East and are a game back of the Yankees for that second division spot, which qualifies for the postseason. Toronto does though currently hold a Wild Card spot in the AL cementing their status as a real postseason competitor.
The Blue Jays rotation could use a little boost this season sitting in the bottom third of the league in combined fWAR and middle of the pack in combined ERA. Lynn would join Hyun Jin Ryu atop the Blue Jays rotation and could be a catalyst in helping to propel them into the playoffs and potentially further.
Toronto is a tough match for the Rangers in terms of trade return though. Much of their top group of prospects are still a couple of years away from the Majors and it’s thought that Texas is pursuing young talent that can begin impacting by 2021 preferably. Nate Pearson is a no-go obviously but the jump down does provide intriguing names, if Texas is willing to wait a bit for development.
Infielder Jordan Groshans profiles as a future impact player at the hot corner assuming he doesn’t stick long-term a short which seems likely. Simeon Woods Richardson is a 19-year old starter who impressed in his first full pro season and looks like a quick mover, even at such a young age. But parting with him might be a bit rich for Toronto’s taste. A couple of other names the Rangers would no doubt consider are RHP Alek Manoah, infielder Orelvis Martinez or Toronto’s pair of highly though of catching prospects, Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno.
San Diego Padres
With all the connections between the Texas Rangers and Padres, this season’s well publicized series aside, a Lance Lynn trade to San Diego makes a lot of sense. Thinking of the Padres as a potential buyer is a bit of a strange thought considering where they’d been as a franchise a few years ago, but now San Diego is a bonafide contender with a high-powered offense that can compete with just about any club out there.
If there’s a weakness on the Padres its their starting rotation that has plenty of young talent but could use a top end boost. Lynn would provide just that and would help San Diego lock up that second spot in the NL West. They could also keep Lynn away from their division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, a win in and of itself.
Of the places Lynn might end up, Rangers’ fans no doubt will be snapping at the opportunity to pluck talent from the stacked farm system San Diego has. No, Fernando Tatis Jr. is not coming to Arlington. But the Padres do have a number of young players who might be available that would be pretty quick contributors for Texas.
Mackenzie Gore and Luis Patino are very likely off the table in talks as would be infielder CJ Abrams. Outfielder Taylor Trammell though has yet to crack the big leagues but should be ready to do so pretty soon. The lefty looks like a potential fit in left field, a spot where Texas might have a hole moving forward assuming Joey Gallo is still in right and Leody Taveras can lock up center. Earlier in the season Texas might have gunned for Jake Cronenworth but with his stellar production this season that probably is a reach now.
Luis Campusano would join Trammell as the coveted possibilities for the Texas Rangers but the catcher is one of the best young prospects at the position in all of baseball, it’s a question whether the Padres would be willing to move him. Beyond the position players, San Diego has an impressive stable of young, talented pitchers they might be willing to move in a potential trade as well.